“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
Read this verse over and over. What is Jesus whispering to you?
The whisper I hear this morning is “just believe.” It sounds so simple. In fact, that is what we tell people going through tough times, just believe, just trust, its going to be ok. That is easy to think and say until the unthinkable happens. When your shaken to the core it is hard to understand what faith is. It is hard to know how to believe.
Lent is a good time to think about our faith. What do you believe? Is your faith in God or is it based on lies of who you want God to be? I found that I often believed in God as far as I could understand. The problem with that, it makes God too small. Our verse is about a man who had done the same thing. His son was inflicted by an evil spirit. The disciples couldn’t help him, so he went directly to Jesus. He pleaded, if you can, please help us. Jesus repeats “if you can? Everything is possible for him who believes.” (vs 23)
The reality is our faith isn’t a constant. It should be moving, growing, maturing. If it stands still it is dying. This doesn’t mean we have it all together all the time. Sometimes it feels like we are falling apart. Sometimes we can’t find the strength or courage to approach God. This doesn’t mean we don’t have faith. It means we need help. It means we are wounded. It means we need healing. Sometimes it means we need rest. Sometimes we need more. Where are you right now?
As I meditate I know that I need more. I do believe but I need help with my unbelief. It is a cry for Jesus to help us. After my dad had His stroke and only a year and a half later my wife being diagnosed with cancer I was at a point where I couldn’t handle any more. I believed but my unbelief was in full swing. I didn’t want to talk to God because I was afraid of what was to come. I was afraid that He was mad at me. I was afraid I was mad at Him. But I continued to meditate each morning sometimes at a distance. What I learned was you have to keep on keeping on. Sometimes we don’t feel like praying but those are the times we need prayer the most. Sometimes we don’t want to seek God but those are the times we need God the most.
Faith is believing even when we don’t feel like it. Believing even when we don’t have anything to believe in. God hasn’t left you. You’re not alone. Even in your sin Jesus died for you. That is the love of God. That is what it means to be held. You don’t have to have the right words or even the right feelings. Just sit in stillness and let God hug you. Let go of the hurt and pain, cry on His shoulders and a burden will be lifted. It may come back but each time just let it out. Holding on to the pain is more than anyone can bare. The load is too heavy. We can’t live with that burden. Let it go and just believe.